Ep150: Michelle Garcia

Today we have a very special simulcast episode of the Listing Agent Lifestyle, and More Cheese Less Whiskers podcasts.

Now, if you've been listening for any time, you know my two favorite things in life are marketing and real estate, and I love it when those paths cross.

Today is one of those days because we've got a special guest, Michelle Garcia, from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Michelle is a realtor looking to build systems around cracking into the luxury market in Coeur d'Alene.

She's had some success. She listened to the I Love Marketing podcast and learn some strategies that she started applying in her business. She put together a relocation guide and started finding all these buyers who are looking for homes in Coeur d'Alene.

She realized the reason she's getting all these buyers was because that's who she was attracting with her guide, so start thinking about how to apply marketing to get what she really wants… listings… and maybe she could do the same thing.

So that's where we started our conversation, and I think you're really going to enjoy where this leads.

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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 150


Dean: Michelle Garcia.

Michelle: Dean Jackson.

Dean: How are you?

Michelle: I'm doing well. Sorry I'm a couple minutes late, I was thinking, how come he's not calling me? And then I remembered, "Oh."

Dean: And we got to record it. How are we going to have a podcast if we don't record it? That's funny. Well.

Michelle: It's a pleasure to talk to you. I'm super excited about this.

Dean: I am too! It's my favorite thing. So, you know how it works. We're recording right now. We got the whole hour just for you and I. Where are you calling from right now? You're in Idaho?

Michelle: So I'm in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which is not the potato area of Idaho. We're not far from Spokane, Washington. About 30 or 40 minutes. And about 90 miles from the Canadian border.

Dean: Oh, nice. Perfect. So, tell me about how we got connected here, and what we're going to focus on today.

Michelle: So, how we got connected is, I came across you guys a few years ago. You guys being Joe Polish and yourself through I Love Marketing, through that podcast. Which I can't say I've listened to all the episodes, because there's quite a few.

Dean: A-ha, there really are!

Michelle: But, I've listened to, oh my gosh. I've listened to so many. I mean, at least dozens, maybe 100? I don't know.

Dean: That's awesome. Yeah.

Michelle: Yeah. And here and there, I've listened to a few of the, sorry for the dinging. I'm just getting out of my car here. The Dan Sullivan podcast, too.

Dean: Oh, cool. The Joy of Procrastination. Yeah, yeah. Nice.

Michelle: Yeah. So, I don't remember how I connected directly. I think I got an email or saw something on... I don't know, somewhere about this thing that you're doing.

Dean: About coming on the podcast. Yeah, yeah.

Michelle: Yeah. So, anyway.

Dean: So that's great. I got your scorecard, and stuff. So I see you are in real estate, which is my favorite.

Michelle: Right. Right. So I love that you have that background, and you've got an agent. You kind have been, boots on the ground. I've heard a little bit about that part of your story. And so I feel like this is a good time for me to address some of what I'm doing, and how to change things. I started a couple years ago in the biz, although I've had invested back and forth, bought and sold properties for ourselves. That's my husband and myself. We have three kids, and that was part of what motivated us to move from California, which is where we are both from, to northern Idaho, to kind of have a slower pace of life, better quality of life, and all that.

So the kids grew up half time in California, and the rest from like the middle school years on, here in northern Idaho. So anyway, I say all of that because it really plays into our story. I'm an entrepreneur at heart. I've got a few businesses that we did over the years, and one of them was a brick and mortar office furniture dealership in California. And that's where we had employees, and a space, and trucks, and it was a relocation for the panel systems, cubicles. So there's a lot of that in that area. We were just so burnt out. The kids were getting older. We had talked about moving. And so anyway, that business was just killing us. And at the same time, our real estate was going bananas. We were making all this money with our real estate, and working like dogs in this business that some years were really good, I shouldn't say it was all bad.

We did that for 10 years. Anyway, my point is that we were working really hard for not a big profit. And with the real estate, you know and then the crash happened, and so we were holding a handful of houses that we were flipping, and it wasn't pretty.

Dean: Right. Right, right right.

Michelle: It was terrible. But we got through it, and thankfully, we're still together, 27 years we've been married.

Dean: Nice, wow.

Michelle: Kids are all grown now. So, I got in when my youngest was 17, knowing that I need to open a new chapter. And there was a lot of time that took place between the failed business, and the real estate investment, and now.

Dean: Amazing, and then you look back on it now, and the crash was literally 11 years ago.

Michelle: I know.

Dean: It doesn't seem like that at all. It just seems like, been so fast.

Michelle: Well it's made us more intelligent. We make better decisions, I think, because we were kind of reckless, oh yeah, let's buy this house, sure. And not really do much investigation, or figure out what if things don't go right. And so, anyway, it weathered us a little bit, and at the same time, made us realize how important family and friends are, and all of that. So, in the meantime, after all that stuff, I was starting to look at online options. You know, doing an online business. Because in northern Idaho, the wages are not anywhere near what they are in California, or any of the other metros. But we didn't want to live there.

So, that's what got me on the track of doing something for myself. We still wanted to do our own thing. But, so anyway, I've done a few ventures, and I've learned a lot. And a lot I've actually, I will tell you, a lot of it I just learned from you guys. Just listening to all those podcasts.

Dean: Oh, that's great.

Michelle: Yeah, and just the mindset behind putting things out there that are attracting the people that you want to attract. So I've put a lot of thought into that.

Dean: Yeah, so tell me about now, then. What's your focus right now? In your real estate business. How does that work right now?

Michelle: Yeah. So now that I'm two years in, when I first started, I decided, okay, I'm going to just try everything. And it's very different, this business, coming from trying to do things online, and get all these leads, and I was dabbling with sales letters. And I got with that lead one anyway. You know, I've dabbled in too many areas, probably, for my own good. So, I just figured, I'm going to because this is so different. This is one-on-one. My brokers were really big on building relationships. And so rather than send an email out to however many are on your list, 5,000 or 10,000, it's like, I'm going to sit all morning and have coffee with people, like one person at a time, are you kidding?

So, and it's actually been good, because it's shown me a whole different avenue of the importance of building an actual relationship, and not a fake relationship online.

Dean: Yeah, you're right on. I don't know if you know this, that I have a podcast called Listing Agent Lifestyle. And it's exclusively about real estate. And we have an approach to it that's kind of different. It's the whole everything I've been doing for 30 years here, condensed into this philosophy of, kind of a manifesto of this listing agent lifestyle. And we have eight elements of the listing agent lifestyle that are the way a model for building a business that uses all the online stuff, uses all the marketing things that we talk about. But is a listing-centric approach to building your real estate business. What I'm actually going to do, is I'm going to simulcast this episode on More Cheese, Less Whiskers and on Listing Agent Lifestyle.

Because I think that the things I'm going to share with you here are going to be really helpful from what I saw on the things that you sent in about what you're focused on.

Michelle: Mm-hmm.

Dean: But, I'll just quickly tell you what the elements are, so that we can go down. So I overlay this on any business. And the first element is that if we're going to build a listing-centric business, you've got to have a system, a systematic way of getting listings, that doesn't involve cold calling, and chasing and doing all of the manual prospecting stuff. We want to have a systematic way that gets people to call you, to come and list their house. In a very specific area ultimately where you want to focus. And I know you mentioned golf course communities, as a primary focus for you.

So we'll talk about that in a second. Then the next element is what we call multiplying your listings. And that means that, whenever you get a listing, it comes with multiple opportunities for transactions, rather than just the one transaction of putting it in the MLS, letting somebody else sell it, and collecting the listing commission. You've also got an opportunity to find the buyer for it. You've got a chance to find a buyer who buys another property, even though you met them from the marketing you were doing from that one listing. You've got the opportunity to get another listing in the neighborhood, where you just had that one. Or, one of the buyers that might lead to.

A listing, so they can buy that house. And you've got an opportunity to get a referral from the seller. And so what we do, we have something we call our listing multiplier index. And so we take the last 10 listings that you've had, and we look at, out of all of those listings, how many transactions were you able to generate out of those possible 50 points. Five transaction opportunities per listing. And when we do it with most people, what we find is that they end up with somewhere between eight and 15 transactions out of 50, that they possibly could have gotten.

And we take that number, and we divide it by 10, to get an index. So if you got 12 out of the 50 potential opportunities that you had, divide that by 10, and your listing multiplier index is 1.2. So that means that every time you take a listing in your current system, whatever you're doing right now around all of your listings, it will turn into 1.2 transactions. And so, even just looking at that number, and knowing that number, for yourself, and then looking forward to the next 10 listings, we've had people raise from a listing multiplier index of one, to over 3.5 now. And that makes a big difference, especially when you're thinking that each one of those transaction sides is worth $10,000 or more. Depending on what your price range is.

So that's a really big focus for us. If you're just looking back at your system, is that kind of a focus for you, or do you see that you mostly get the listings sold, or that you're trying to orchestrate multiple transactions?

Michelle: So I would love to do that. I love that mindset. And I think mostly what I've done so far is not what I want to be doing. And so in the very first year I was just trying to learn the business. Like, how does this work? And so I just tried everything. And probably a little over a year. And then the second year I got a little more tactical, I guess. And created a relocation guide that I've produced myself, and had it printed. I printed up several copies. I get it out everywhere I can. I do chamber events, and the visitor's center here in town. This is a resort town, so there's a lot of people looking to move to the area.

So, that I've done. So guess what I attracted? Well, I attracted buyers, right?

Dean: Uh-huh, right. Mm-hmm.

Michelle: Almost all of my transactions have been buyers. Which I don't hate, but it is more work. And I don't have all the other opportunities that you just mentioned with a listing that I do with the buyer. I had my referrals. That for sure has happened. But it's all been buyers, for the most part. So, I'm really this year, I'm working toward getting a better strategy, focusing on listings. And so, I've been looking at, what could I put out there for the people that I want to work with. The type of home, whether it's a golf course home, a waterfront home. We live in a lake community, so there's a lot of waterfront communities.

Dean: Oh, then you're going to love this. So, we have a whole program called, getting listings. And that's exactly what we focus on, is getting listings without making cold calls, we've got a whole direct response system, that you can choose an area, that's what we focus on. And we have postcards, and newsletters, and a whole follow-up system to go with them. Now, if you were to say let me look at your marketplace here, of where the opportunity might be. You mentioned a couple of things that just made me perk up, which I love. Lakefront homes, for one. And golf course homes, which are both categories that you can really make an impact in.

Because most people are not thinking about it this way. Now, you've proven that you can use a system like what we're talking about, to generate buyers, because you have been doing the relocation guide. Which is generating the buyers. And that's typically what happens is, you get what you put out there. That's completely geared, if you're looking for relocation buyers, you're going to get them. So now, what would be-

Michelle: I'm laughing, Dean, because I spent so much time on this thing, I mean literally like way over a month, way over a month. And it looks great, it's beautiful. I get all these compliments and whatever. Because it's really good. But, it dawned on me I mean, I literally, it's like it didn't even hit me until, I'm marketing this thing, I'm handing it out. And I'm like, who am I after? Well I would love to get listings. Well someone who's about to list their house want so have. So it took me a while. And I get it.

Dean:  Yeah. You've got that as a valuable asset. That was the very first thing that I did, as a direct response my introduction to direct response. The very first cool thing that I did in real estate was create a relocation guide for Halton Hills, where I was in Toronto. And that system is still the foundation of what we do on the finding buyers side. You've got that now in place. Which is great. How many buyers have you generated? Buyer prospects, have you generated from that?

Michelle: So, buyers, actual buyers, probably I would say, four or five. And prospects, countless. And so one of the things that I was having a hard time with is, I know what I should be doing. And with capturing the leads, and getting their information, it was getting so complicated. I had this thing done, I just wanted to get it out there. So I put it up on my website for free. No email thingie required. Nothing. Just because I wanted to get it out there. And so that's where I'm at. So I can't really tell you how many leads I've captured. Or that people have called me directly from that.

But, I will say my last deal was over a million bucks. And it was because of that guide.

Dean: Oh yeah, no the great news is, that asset that you have now, is going to be an ever-green thing for you. Slightly updated. I've been using a model like that now for 27 years. So, it's still a foundational tool. Now, I'm going to put a little twist on it for you here. So if we were to wave a magic wand and say, let's just look at the lakefront homes. How many lakefront homes do you think there are in your market area, where you are in Coeur d'Alene?

Michelle: Total? I have no idea. To answer your question, I have no idea.

Dean: Okay. Do you think it would be dozens? Is it hundreds? Is it thousands?

Michelle: Oh, no, it's for sure hundreds. Maybe up to a thousand. But, yeah, I don't think a thousand. Hundreds.

Dean: Okay. And is that a, one of the desirable things in Coeur d'Alene? Is that what people like would really want, lakefront homes?

Michelle: So it's one of the things. But the other, really big important thing, because we're in a four seasons area, meaning we have snow and ice, and ice storms, and all that. Some of these properties are really hard to get to, and not accessible year-round. So, the other very desirable thing is to be in what we call in-town. So drivable to downtown Coeur d'Alene, or not 15 minutes out, where there's no grocery stores, no gas stations.

Dean: Right. What's the population of Coeur d'Alene? Just like, I'm trying to get a sense of the scope of this.

Michelle: Yeah, it's about 50,000-ish.

Dean: Okay.

Michelle: Yeah. So it's not huge. And our feeder markets are, Spokane is about 250,000 people.

Dean: Yeah, and how far is that?

Michelle: 30 minutes.

Dean: Okay. But you're primarily focused on Coeur d'Alene. That's your primary market.

Michelle: Purely. Purely focused on Coeur d'Alene. So there's other lakes, there's Spokane river, which is near Coeur d'Alene. But Coeur d'Alene has a golf course here, and between the golf course and the resort, which is owned by the same entity, the Floating Green, there's a lot of PR stuff that goes on because of the golfing. And so, when people outside of our area hear of Coeur d'Alene, they don't hear north Idaho. They don't know about, very much about Hayden, or Post Falls. But they know about Coeur d'Alene.

Dean: Okay. And what about the golf course homes. Are there more of those than the lakefront homes?

Michelle: So, we have a handful of communities that are golf and lake communities. So actually I've been debating. I haven't created it yet, but I put it in my vision that I wanted to create a guide, one of two things. Either a golf and lake community guide, so a guide to golf and lake communities, in and around Coeur d'Alene. But, I feel like that might be a little too niche-y. And so I haven't done it.

Dean: Mm-hmm. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about it. So, would those be the luxury homes be in that category?

Michelle: Yes. They could be.

Dean: Mm-hmm. And what would be the price range average? What are we talking about?

Michelle: So, we also have a lot of condos here. That's becoming a thing, because there's a lot of snowbirds. And so if you're right in downtown Coeur d'Alene, that's not a golf community. But, you've got condos ranging from, minimum 350, up into three million. And it's like, those are few and far between. Anything over a million there's not a lot of activity. And overall, our market here, it's kind of small-ish, as far as the majority of activity is all under 500,000, in general, in our whole county. But, it's only about 7% of transactions are over, I think it's 650 or more. But that is my hope, is to dominate that 7%.

Dean: Well that's fine. And we can definitely do that. And what I'm trying to see is where those homes would be. Would they mostly be in those golf and lake communities? Is that a good portion of them be there?

Michelle: You know, a lot of them that turn are downtown, or near downtown. So yes. There's so many different little communities. Some are hard to get to, and so I don't really want to go very far out. Like it is my max.

Dean: So if we were to say, like pick the area there that would fit as golf and lake. How many homes could we get to there? What would be the number of homes?

Michelle: So if I did golf and lake communities that's why I was saying I wasn't sure about niche-ing down that far.

Dean: Yeah. So that's what we want to talk about niche-ing it down.

Michelle: If I stick with my directive of wanting to stay within 15 minutes of downtown CDA, then that eliminates some of those golf and lake communities, that are about an hour away, north of me, towards Sand Point, Idaho. It's a great community, I love the idea of it. But it's just too far. And so, that breaks us down into just a handful... hold on one sec. One, Black Rock. The Club at Rock Creek. And then, a handful of golf course homes in town, but that would not be luxury homes. They're built in the '70s and '80s. And so, I would say maybe five or six golf communities.

Like I'm guessing I would have to look at this. This is an interesting conversation, though. Probably under 200 homes, I would say.

Dean: So if we combined the golf course homes, and the lake homes, that that would be certainly, maybe right around a thousand is what we could get to. Would that be what you're saying?

Michelle: I'm saying if I stick to just my area, and just golf course and lake homes, well now, waterfront's different. But if we're saying golf and lake communities, I would say under 200 homes. Within my little region.

Dean: Okay. And so I guess what I was saying is expanding beyond just the ones that are both golf and lake. If you expanded to, say, lake that maybe are outside of the golf course too. But it's still that category, that that's what-

Michelle: So the waterfront? You're saying waterfront?

Dean: Yeah, waterfront. Mm-hmm.

Michelle: Gotcha. Then yes, that would open up a lot more.

Dean: Okay. So let's look at that, and the reason that I'm looking this way is that one of the things that we talk about is setting you up to be a market maker. And what I mean by a market maker, is that we can focus on both sides of the transaction here. So, you know that when you put out a relocation guide, what you get are people who are looking to relocate. And I'm going to tell you that if we put out a golf course and lake, or waterfront, home guide, that what we're going to find are people who are looking for golf properties, or waterfront properties. And so, now, with that on one side of this, if we can go on the listing side of this, and do the getting listings program, offering those people who own those waterfront and golf course homes, the report on waterfront and golf course house prices, that would be a big win.

Now, what we're looking for is that we know who those people are, and that we are just like we're generating this pool of golf course and waterfront buyer prospects, we're generating a pool of waterfront and golf course homeowners who are listing prospects. And now we've got this silent market, that we're able to match people up, even without sometimes their homes being on the market. And that's a really valuable position to be in.

So if we look at this, I love that you were talking about Seth Godin's idea of a minimum viable audience.

Michelle: My dream. That's my dream.

Dean: That's what we're talking about. How much turnover is there among the waterfront and golf course homes?

Michelle: I don't know.

Dean: Okay. And so one of the things that in order to dominate this market, and that's my intention, anything, what I want you to do is to pick that market, and then come into it with an intention that you're going to own that market. You're the dominant golf course and waterfront agent in Coeur d'Alene. That that's going to be your position.

Michelle: Remember I said I was going to toy with the idea of either creating this or something else. The something else was luxury. So to just focus on luxury, because then that opens up downtown Coeur d'Alene. Which there's a lot of activity down there, a ton, just unbelievable. So, I didn't want to exclude myself from that. And so I was thinking, do I do a separate thingie for golf? And-

Dean: And here's the thing. We're talking about limiting your, narrowing your focus, to a single target market. But at a time. We're not talking about limiting you forever, that you're ever going to be able to sell golf course and lakefront homes. What I want you to get in the mindset of is thinking like Proctor and Gamble. That Proctor and Gamble, is a big company, and they have 23 individual billion dollar brands. That seem unrelated to each other. But the culmination of all of them, you're building this out here, that you've got your relocation brand established in the market right now. You've got your relocation guide. It's working. It's a systematic way for people to contact you to have you help them buy the homes.

We're talking about now doing this same kind of thing, because they can all run concurrently. What we're not trying to do, is water things down by making it all inclusive. And the person who's looking for a luxury home in downtown Coeur d'Alene, is different than the person who's looking for a home on the lake. Or a golf course home. So, we want to focus on different people. Just like the people who buy Tide laundry detergent, because it gets their clothes as white as possible, is different that the person who buys Cheer, so they can just throw everything in the laundry and not ruin it.

That's the focus that we're looking at for you here. Is to, really look at Coeur d'Alene, the marketplace, in a CAT scan-perspective, where we're slicing it up into all the individual little micromarkets that make up the total market of Coeur d'Alene. So somebody who's looking for a condo, specifically, because they're snowbirds, or they're part-time residents, or they don't want a yard, or they don't want to deal with all of that, that if we did the Coeur d'Alene condo guide, that's going to give us all the condo buyers. And if you're saying that the condos in Coeur d'Alene are, start at 350,000, then that's a really viable market as well. Because-

Michelle: Right. Which is the third idea that I had.

Dean: Well, there we go. You're going to love it, then. That's exactly what I'm talking about, is that we want to build a scalable plan, that you can take over one market at a time. But it takes, that month that you took to put together your relocation guide, is over. And you've got the guide, and it's working, and you don't have to do anything more with it. It's out, and it's in orbit now. It's much easier to keep that going, than it is to get it into orbit. And so it would be the same kind of thing, that what we're saying is that if we were to take the time to put together the minimum viable guide for the golf course and lakefront, or waterfront homes.

And you have a nice cover, you got a great title. You've got a map. You've got the pictures of where the communities are. You put pictures of the different types of amenities and homes that are available in these golf course communities. You've got lakefront pictures. All the things that would be a dream come true information piece for people new to Coeur d'Alene, who are coming there thinking, I want to get a house on a lake. Or I want to get a house on a golf course community.

That is really a wonderful thing. Then, the other side of that is, getting together your list. We've got the fact is, that if there are a thousand, plus or minus, lakefront or waterfront and golf course homes in Coeur d'Alene, within 15 minutes, your ideal target audience there, if there are a thousand of those homes, those are the one thousand homes. That's all there is. And if they have an 8% turnover rate, let's say, year over year, that means that there's going to be 80 of those homes that sell each year. Let's say they have a 5%, there's going to be 50 of them that sell each year. Those are all knowable numbers. You can look back and see, of these one thousand homes, once you identify them, how many of them sold in the last 12 months.

So that's going to give you a pretty good indication of that normal turnover. And so the fact is, that the next 50 people are 100% certainly going to be 50 of the one thousand homeowners in those golf course and waterfront homes. If your goal is to get lakefront, or waterfront, or golf course listings, only those people are the ones that can make that happen. Those are the only thousand people we need to know. Those are what we call, visible prospects. You can definitely get that list. And you may have to individually compile it, with looking at tax records, and knowing that some of these people may be ... that may not be where they actually live. They may have a tax address somewhere else, that you can, so right. So if you're mailing to these people are getting listings program is about identifying the people who have the highest probability over the next 12 months to sell their house.

Because what would be really valuable right now is that we used to do big real estate events. And we'd have six or eight hundred people in a room every month. And I would give people in the audience an opportunity. I would, say, pick somebody out in the front row, and I'd say, Michelle, I'm going to give you a choice right now. Let's imagine that this room represents an 800 home subdivision. And everybody in there owns one of the 800 homes in that subdivision. And I'm going to give you the chance to come up here, and I'll give everybody one of your business cards. And you can tell everybody, introduce yourself to everybody, and tell everybody what you do, and I'll help you get your name out there, to that group of people.

Or, you can sit right there, and I will have someone bring you an envelope. And in that envelope will be a piece of paper, with the name and address of the 50 people in this room who are going to sell their house in the next 12 months. What would be more valuable?

Michelle: Well, obviously, the 50.

Dean: Yes! So that's the focus that we want to have here. Is that, we know for sure, out of all of the people in Coeur d'Alene, that only these one thousand have the opportunity to list their waterfront or golf course home with you. So we want to focus on, what would be the first thought that somebody thinking about selling their house would have? What's the first thought that runs through their mind?

Michelle: What's my house worth?

Dean: How much is it worth? Exactly. Now, most of the time, what people do, when most people think okay, I want to start getting lakefront, or waterfront listings, they would send out postcards that are all about you, to get your name out there, and brand yourself as a waterfront specialist. So you might send out a thing with you on the water, with your picture, and call Michelle the waterfront specialist. All of these things focused on you, so that you're building top of mind awareness for people.

Now, the next thing that people might do, once they realize, that's not really helping us identify who the people who are going to sell their house are. They may do things like, find out how much your house is worth, for free over the phone or for free online. Or get a free evaluation of your home, where it's very specific and isolated on them. People are reluctant in a way to respond to that, especially if they're just thinking about it. They're just entering the process. They have been around long enough to know that that is something that I'm going to have to invite this Realtor into my house, and they're going to want me to list my house now, and I'm not ready for that yet.

So, more people will respond to that than the, call Michelle and start packing ads. But, the most valuable thing that you can do is to think the way that they're thinking, and let them get what they want without it depending on you being a part of it right now. And what I mean by that is, we put together a report on lakefront and golf course house prices. So that when you send out a postcard, and offer the June 2019 report on Coeur d'Alene golf course and waterfront house prices.

That now seems like objective data, meaning it's what's happened. It's not your subjective opinion of what my house might be worth. I'm going to get the data on what all of the waterfront and golf course homes are selling for. And that'll give me an idea of what is going on in the market. And, it sounds like that report is already done, and I can voyeur in on this. I'm not saying that I'm selling my house, or that I'm committing to a real estate agent right now. All I'm saying is, I'm curious about this. And for most people that curiosity is what is driven by the seed of a thought that they're going to sell their house in the next 12 months.

Michelle: Right. And I could even do that specific to a certain subdivision, or like with the condos. Some of the condos have several dozens.

Dean: Yes. You're right.

Michelle: I could do it just on that community. Yeah, okay. Perfect. And so once I do the report ... so I do the report. Do I make that ... let's talk about the mechanics. This is where I get blocked. Because I feel like, I should be capturing all this information, and you know, doing all this lead gen stuff, and then at the same time it feels too complicated. I'm super busy.

Dean: I got it.

Michelle: Someone calls and says, I want to see a house, and then it just all stops. So what do I do from there? I got the report.

Dean: Yeah. So, first of all, you should know that we have a whole community around this at gogoagent.com. So I've already done all of this creative stuff for you, so you don't need to think about how to put it all together. And we can even do all of the stuff for you. But I'll walk you through the logistics of how it actually works.

So, we mail that postcard. And we send people to a landing page, where they can leave their contact information, to get the report. And when they respond, you send them the report, and a cover letter. And we have a book called, How to Sell Your House for Top Dollar Fast, which we personalize that is coming from you. And you send that along with all of the information on all the sales in the last 12 months, on the waterfront and golf course homes. And, all the things that are for sale right now. So people get a sense of what is the lay of the land right now. In the golf course and waterfront marketplace. Then, each month, we have a, what we call a get top dollar newsletter, that we send to everybody who's responded. So, let's say that you mail out a thousand postcards your first time.

And 20 people respond, and ask for the report. You mail out the report to those 20 people. We don't send them the postcard anymore. We take those 20 people, and we move them into your prospect list now. And we send those 20 people each month a get top dollar newsletter. A cover letter. And an update of everything that's happened in the last 30 days, in the waterfront and golf course market.

Now, there are no phone calls to be made. We're not calling to close people, or check in on them. We're doing all of that with the cover letters, and the correspondence. So that first indication that it's working is when you get a phone call from somebody who says, hey, we've been getting all of your correspondence. I'm going from somebody who just called in for one of our agents. That we've been getting your correspondence, and we're ready to put the house on the market. And we want to get together with you over the weekend. And that is exactly how it works.

Michelle: So the 20 people, you're saying, that respond. Then you're marketing to them. You send them the report. You send them your top dollar thing. And then they get on a kind of drift campaign, like monthly.

Dean: They do. Every month, yes, every month we send the get top dollar newsletter. And the report. And a cover letter. And we always lead to the next step. Like one of the things that we know is that, at this point, when somebody asks for this, the thought that's going to come through their mind is, that okay, there's all the data. But now it's not still specifically telling them what their house is worth. And that'll be the next thing that they would want to know. If they're now getting more serious about putting their house on the market, there's going to be three different types of people. There's going to be people who, they want to know the specific price, and so they can make their decisions on stuff, especially if they're going to be buying another house, or they need to know how much they're going to get for this house, to make their next move kind of thing.

Then there are people who, they want to get all their ducks in a row, like to prepare the house before they put it on the market. And then there are going to be other people who, well, they're not quite ready right now, but they're not really in a hurry. But if you had somebody that wanted to buy it, maybe they would sell right now. Those three motivations are what are going to drive the next step for them. So knowing that, we put together three separate offers for them. So we send the cover letter, along with the update with the report and the book, and all of that. But then, in the cover letter, we say to people, whenever you're ready. And those are important words. We're never trying to convince somebody that they need to sell now, because the market's hot, or now's the time, or whatever it is.

We're giving them permission to completely control the timeline. And we're saying, whenever you're ready, here are three ways we can help you. And number one, is a pinpoint price analysis. Where we can show you exactly what your home would sell for, compared to all the homes that are on the market right now. Then number two is, a room-by-room review. We've got a booklet, and a checklist, where we can show you exactly what to do, and not to do, to get your house ready so it shows its best, and you make the most money when you sell.

Or we may be able to sell your house in as little as 24 hours, without even putting it on the market, with our silent market. And those three appeals are the things that drive the next steps. So if somebody calls you up and says, can you tell me about this silent market? You're able to say, perfect. Let my pop by, I'll take a look at your house. I'll hear what you're up to. Take a look and see if it might be a fit for one of the buyers that we're already working with. Or they'll say, I'd like to get a room-by-room review. Perfect, let me pop by. I'll bring our room-by-room review booklet and checklist. We can go through every room, and I'll make recommendations, and show you what you should and shouldn't do, to get the most money when you do sell.

Or they'll say, I want to get an idea of what our house is worth. Perfect. Let me pop by, I'll take a look at your house. Well, you can show me everything. I'll bring all the information, and I'll give you an idea of what it might sell for in today's market. All of those things, three different motivations that all lead to the same place.

Michelle: Yeah. That's great.

Dean: Yeah, this is something, I'm going to say like for you, if you listen to the first three episodes of the listing agent lifestyle podcast, you're going to hear three different case study versions of, how this plays out. We've been doing this for years.

Michelle: Okay. Is that the name of the podcast, Listing Agent Lifestyle?

Dean: It is, yes.

Michelle: I think I've listened to something, I don't know. Dean, you're in so many different worlds, right?

Dean: I really am. I really am.

Michelle: You have a lot of different things brewing. So I don't know exactly the ones that I listen to. But I'm pretty sure I've heard one or two of these.

Dean: Maybe.

Michelle: But you're saying the first three.

Dean: Mm-hmm. Well the first three will give you an example of exactly what we're talking about with the, on that listing site. Because I know that's the thing that's exciting for you, you know.

Michelle: Right. Let me ask you, so you mentioned about the postcard, and follow up with a newsletter, and all that. How should email and social play into all of this? Is that newsletter via email only? Or a hard copy, another mailing?

Dean: Hard. Yeah. Hard copy. And we do a monthly email version of it as well. Because the valuable thing, where what I want to paint the picture for you, is that let's imagine that you're mailing, and you're doing the getting listings program for those homes. And you've got now, you've got 50 or 100 people, who've raised their hand, and asked for your report. One of the things we do is we export that data. We link that data, of those addresses, with a Google map layer, so that we drop a pin to show where your seller prospects are there. So you can see visually where people are.

Then, on that same in that same category, we've put together your guide for waterfront and golf course communities, and you've generated 100 buyer prospects. Who are looking for lakefront or waterfront, or golf course homes? And you're sending them a weekly, waterfront weekly, or golf and waterfront weekly email, with updates of all the new golf course and waterfront properties that come on the market each week. And you get somebody who wants to join you, for one of your daily tours of golf course and waterfront properties.

And they say, now you've got somebody who's very interested in looking at properties. And you're able to now look on your map, and send a quick email to the people in the neighborhood where you're going. What's the name of one of the most popular golf communities there?

Michelle: Black Rock.

Dean: Black Rock. Okay. You've got a buyer who's particularly interested in Black Rock. And then you look in your Black Rock, you look in your seller prospects, and you see that you've got three people that live in Black Rock that have responded to your postcards. And you send a quick email to them and say, hey Michelle, I'm showing homes in Black Rock this weekend, to a couple from Seattle. And they're looking for a golf course property. I remember looking up yours online when I sent you the golf course report. I'm not sure what your plans are, but I thought I'd check in and see if I could tell them about your house. It sounds like it might be a good match for these people.

That's a very targeted market-maker opportunity. Because not only do you have now the homes that are on the market, you've got this next layer of this sellers in waiting kind of layer, that only you know about. You're the only one that knows that these 50, 80, 100 people, are curious, and interested about maybe selling their house. That's how you take over a market like that, you know.

Michelle: Okay. So with these people that have responded, obviously they're needing to put in their physical address, right?

Dean: Mm-hmm, yes.

Michelle: In order to be able to Google, pinpoint them.

Dean: Yes.

Michelle: Okay. So I have a bunch of names. Some of them I know personally. And they're, I guess you would call them part of my sphere. Where I interact, or have interacted with them in some way in the last couple years. And then there's other people I don't really know, but I've met them once or something, and open house leads. And then I did a golf show. I had a booth at a show, and I've got hundreds of names from that. Like, how does all of that play into.

Dean: So you're part of this now. I get it, we have a whole 'nother strategy for that. And one of the things that we talked about is getting referrals. And so, what you're talking about is the building of your sphere. People that you know. The people who would likely either do business with you, or be repeat clients, or refer somebody. And those, what we target, are the 150 people that, if you saw them at the grocery store, you'd recognize them by name, and you'd stop and you'd have a conversation with them. Those are the people that we're looking for, your top 150.

And we look for managing that group of people, like a relationship portfolio, that we're looking to manage for a 20% annual yield. Meaning that our gold standard for this would be that we can generate 30 transactions from that group of 150 people.

Michelle: Right. And so that is more of an intimate and actual relationship with someone. These other respondents are a different category, right?

Dean: That's exactly right.

Michelle: But, do I totally treat them different in how I interact, and sent things out, and I do these market updates, I do quarterly mailings of all the stats. Is that all totally separate?

Dean: Yeah, your strategy for your top 150 is completely different.

Michelle: Okay.

Dean: Yeah. Because, the strategy there is that we're looking to orchestrate referrals, and to generate direct, or repeat business, with those 150 people. And so we've got a whole strategy there, and one of the tools that we use, is something we call the world's most interesting postcard. And it's something where we send every month to the top 150, and it's designed to get referrals. So that we're top of their mind, when they hear people talking about buying or selling a house. So that they'll think of you, and they'll introduce you to the person that they had the conversation with.

Michelle: And so I have a drift campaign that I do on a regular basis for those folks. And these are the people I would consider my sphere. All these others that I mentioned, I haven't really had an actual strategy. I don't know, getting in touch with them. It feels a little awkward, and I just haven't done anything. But then like this new thing that you just mentioned about targeting by whether golf course communities or condos and I actually have done some condo stuff, but it was more like a shotgun approach, where I just sent everybody something, and it wasn't all that effective. Anyways, so am I doing different marketing tracks, it sounds like, for each category?

Dean: Yes, that's exactly right.

Michelle: Okay.

Dean: Yes. You've got so much opportunity, it's amazing. It's awesome.

Michelle: It is. And at the same time, it's like, I have all these plans. And actually, my daughter, who just gotten into my area here, is starting with me today. I'm hiring her, because I can't do all of this. There's a lot of things I know I should be doing. I know how, and I don't physically have the time in the day to do it.

Dean: Well, there's the thing, then. So this was your great thing. So, my prescription for you then, would be to go to gogoagent.com. And everything, all the playbooks that she'll need to execute all this for you, are there. Everything, you've got so many now who can implement stuff for you. That's the goal.

Michelle: Right. Okay. Excellent.

Dean: It's been very exciting.

Michelle: Yeah.

Dean: What did you hear?

Michelle: I feel like some of those questions, and now I can't remember.

Dean: Well, yeah, I mean, think that through. In terms of what the questions are. If you go there, you'll see we've got a, start here section, so you can see all of those things that we talked about. And that will bring up even more clarity for you, certainly. It might answer some of the questions you have. But, then we have a message forum. And we've got coaches and everybody available to answer any questions that you have about it.

Michelle: Okay. Perfect. All right, well-

Dean: It's been delightful.

Michelle: Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, it's been delightful.

Michelle: Great to chat with you.

Dean: Yes. So, I will look for you, and I will connect with you there.

Michelle: Okay. Perfect. Thanks so much, Dean.

Dean: Thanks, Michelle. Okay. Bye-bye.

Michelle: Okay. Take care. Bye-bye.

Dean: There we have it. Another great episode. Thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation, want to go deeper in how the eight profit activators can apply to your business, two things you can do. Right now, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com. And you can download a copy of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers book. And, you can listen to the back episodes, of course, if you're just listening here on iTunes.

Secondly, the thing that we talk about in applying all of the eight profit activators, are part of the breakthrough DNA process. And you can download a book and a scorecard. And watch a video all about the eight profit activators, at BreakThroughDNA.com. And that's a great place to start the journey in applying this scientific approach to growing your business. That's really the way we think about breakthrough DNA, as an operating system that you can overlay on your existing business, and immediately look for insights there.

So, that's it for this week. Have a great week, and we'll be back next time with another episode of More Cheese, Less Whiskers.